Using request.POST or None ‹ antipattern ‹ Django antipatterns Fork me on GitHub

Often one initializes a form with:

def someview(request):
    form = MyForm(request.POST or None)
    # …

This is often used to construct a form for both the GET and the POST request since it seems to make things shorter.

Why is it a problem?

Although it is common, a POST request does not per se has content. The or operator evaluates the truthiness of the request.POST operand, and if it is False, it will take the right operand (so None). This means that even if it is a POST request, it will take None, and thus as result the form is not bounded.

If the form is not bounded, then form.is_valid() will return False, even if an empty QueryDict for request.POST was a valid request.

What can be done to resolve the problem?

We can branch based on the request method, and use request.POST in case of a POST request:

def someview(request):
    if request.method == 'POST':
        form = MyForm(request.POST, request.FILES)
        # …
    else:
        form = MyForm()
        # …